The deadline is March 31, 2014! It’s coming soon, in a little more than a week, and you need to sign up for health insurance before it gets too late.
With insurance exchanges, the Obama administration has made it quite easy for individuals and small businesses to compare and select plans. The Healthcare.gov website is where you need to go to get the lowdown. You could just fill in your basic information and select the plan that’s right for you. Here are just some things you need to consider.
Information at the Healthcare.gov Website
To make use of the Health Insurance Marketplace you need to fill out a Marketplace application. This will give you access to a range of information including:
- Plans covering essential health benefits
- Preventive care and pre-existing conditions
- Previews of plans that are available in your state or region
- Lower costs that are based on the size and income of your household
You’ll have all that data here plus information on Medicaid’s eligibility expansion, whether it is applicable for your state, and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).
What if You Don’t Get Health Coverage
The penalty for not having health coverage in 2014 could be $95 per adult or 1% of the income you earn, whichever is higher, payable on your income tax from 2015. For kids the penalty in $47.50. So you better get yourself health coverage by enrolling at the Marketplace right now since enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014.
Are There Options beyond Open Enrollment?
After March 31 you cannot get yourself private health insurance within the Marketplace till the start of the next phase of open enrollment which is for 2015 coverage. If you wish to get health plan outside the Open Enrollment, you need to be qualified for the special enrollment period, details of which you can get on the Healthcare.gov site.
For 2015 coverage, the open enrollment period is between November 15, 2014 and February 15, 2015.
So get going and we wish you, as an individual or a small business, all the best to select the right health coverage.